Battle of Kontum

The Battle of Kontum

At the end of January, 1968, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese launched an offensive throughout the entire country of South Vietnam. Every major city and every Provincial Capital was attacked.

The attack on Kontum, the capital of Kontum Province, was initially hampered by elements of the South Vietnamese Army, who prevented the enemy from taking complete control of the city. However, during the attack, enemy forces managed to occupy large areas of the city and some of the outlying territory.

The US Army force responsible for this area of operations was the 4th Infantry Division. Several units of the Division were tasked with clearing the enemy out of the city and pursuing him into the countryside. LTC William P. Junk, Commander of 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, was given ground command of the operation and was directed to assume command of all 4th Infantry Division forces in the area.

For the duration of the operation the elements at his disposal were organized into Task Force 1-22.  The ensuing 14 day battle became known as the Battle of Kontum.

Background, Operational Planning & Deployment

Operations – Phase I & Phase II

Operations – Phase III

Fire Support – Artillery & Air Support

Newspaper articles & photos of the Battle

Tet 1968 Special Forces

–  Info from SSgt Tom Heckman, RTO on FAC Team

Tet 1968 1/22

–   Vietnam Magazine, The Battle for Kontum, February 2003

Sam Drake sent this February 3-5, 1968 view:

Mike Meadows, writes:

Had an unusual situation happen this past weekend. A guy who was in the guard tower at Kontum during TET sent me some pictures of the MACV compound and one after the battle. Thought you might like to post them on the C co site . He found me thru another military site about Vietnam and he was assigned to C company 43rd signal and  was on the corner with the four towers. #4 was close to the withe brick fort next to MACV that housed the interrogation center during the fighting. His name is Jack Mahan and should get the credit for the pictures.

The other pictures were taken by Charlie Company troops.

28 thoughts on “Battle of Kontum

  1. Regarding any info ..around May or June 1968 Kontum..1st Bn 14th Inf. Charlie Co. 3rd. Brgde 4th Inf. Div.or HHQ Co. 3rd Brgde 4th Inf. Div. Where First Sgt Elmo Garrett was HHQ Top Shirt.. My Name is Carson E. Garrett also assigned to the same Unit My Father and I were interviewd by Stars and Stipes where We were in the Presence of Gen Westmorland.. As being the first Father and Son in a Combat unit since World War Two..if any info please se d me some photos to my email. Thanks and God Bless…


    • My Sister’s father was killed in Kontum on April 15, 1968 also. His name was Richard Gunnar Anderson, from Wauconda, Illinois. We have no information about the battle or circumstances of his death.


  2. Cousin Norman Keller (Doc) killed June 4, 1968, in vicinity of Kontum while serving with 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Div., 8th Infantry. A Medical corpsman. Spec. 4 Keller suffered a right arm Wound last march when a truck on which he was riding hit a road mine.


    • Ethan, I’m pretty sure I knew him. If he later died from his wounds, it must be the same Jimmy R Thomas I knew. We got to the ambush site right after it happened. if you want to talk about it.


    • Ethan, if your grandfather was a mortarman with A Troop, 2/1 Cavalry, I knew him. We got to the ambush site right after it happened. If you want to talk about it, e-mail me at: Jim Kirch


      • I was at company C 43rd signal during Tet.I was assigned to company A 43rd in Pleiku and was part of a reactionary force sent to pull guard duty so other members of C company could rest.We only had contact one night,guess most of it was over with by the time we got there


      • I was with the 504th. m.p. co. We ran convoys 0n hy. 14 16. And 13. we had a town patrol in Kontum at the time of the first tet. It has very hairy.


    • Lot of the material I’ve read about the night TET started in Kontum is lacking in some important points. My ACAV (14) and 13 were between the 17th Cavs wire and the wood line when it started. If you’re interested , I’ll tell you about it. Use e-mail : jkk@fltg. Jim


  3. Looking for info on a battle on a hill near Kontum. My dad was a Sergeant and was awarded a Silver Star during a battle on March 22, 1968. His name is Manuel “Sonny” Alvarez. He was acting 1st sergeant of Company C, 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade. I have no clue what all of that means.


  4. My parents were there. My Dad was a twenty something year old Linguist and mother was an anthropologist at the time working at the Language center depicted in some of the photos above. My parents had been working with the Rengau people of the central highlands. (mountainyard people) I was there but not born quite yet. Our family is forever grateful for the help and support they received from those at the special forces base, MACV and those that fought in the battle at large.


  5. My Uncle was killed Thanksgiving Day 1978 LeRoy Fladry killed in Action in kontum If anyone has any information that would be great


  6. My dad 1st Sgt Marion Manning was there. D Company of the 22nd. He did what he had to do in order to save as many as he could.


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